In what will bring a smile to all the shooting aficionados in the country ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, India finished the year 2019 as the top shooting nation in the world, surpassing heavyweights China and USA.

On the back of its sparkling show through 2019, in terms of overall medals, the tally stood at 21 gold, six silver and three bronze as India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals in a unforgettable year.

The update was provided by a delighted National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh, who tweeted a screenshot of the International Shooting Sport Federation’s (ISSF) overall rankings for 2019 on Sunday. “Well done Team India,” he wrote.

India lead the standing with 30 medals overall, while China is second with 11 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze for a total of 44 podium finishes. The USA is placed third with 15 medals (six gold six silver and three bronze).

The number of Olympic quotas, which now stands at a record 15, is not only a refection of the country’s rapid rise in the sport over the last one year but also sets up the shooters nicely for a record haul at the Tokyo Games, after the meltdown at Rio de Janeiro.

Besides the shooters, the federation has also worked extensively towards bringing the sport to where it is today.

Indian shooting’s best show at the Olympics remains the two medals won at London in 2012, but if the shooters’ exploits in recent months are anything to go by, the country can easily emulate or better that in Tokyo.